Damian Hall and Debbie Martin-Consani lead after the second night of the Montane Spine Race.
Yesterday saw the high-profile retirements of Kim Collison, who had exchanged the lead with Hall, and defending champion Sabrina Verjee, who led the women's race.
The epic, non-stop 260-mile started on Sunday morning in Edale in Derbyshire and is following the famous Pennine Way through the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Northumberland National Park, and the Cheviots, before finishing in Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders.
Hall has a massive lead overall and is ahead of the pace set by Jasmin Paris when she set the course's fastest time in 2019, but a route revision has meant course records are off the cards. The damage caused by Storm Arwen has left many local trails unpassable, so the runners are transported near Bellingham, cutting the course short by 15 miles.
Second-placed Eugeni Roselló Solé of Spain reached Middleton in the early hours of this morning six hours after Hall. The leader, a former Pennine Way FKT-holder, has since gone on the next checkpoint at Dufton and summited Cross Fell, the highest point on the route at 893m. However, Roselló Solé covered the section from Middleton to Dufton 1 hour 10 minutes quicker than Hall.
James Leavesley is third, having gone past Ireland's Eoin Keith in the past few hours.
Martin-Consani was eighth overall to reach Middleton, having reached the previous checkpoint, Tan Hill, with a lead of more than two and a half hours. The chasing Elaine Bisson has since moved clear of Nicola Sommers in second and third.
Meanwhile, in the new Montane Spine Challenger North race, Simon Roberts, winner of the Dragon’s Back Race in 2021, reached the finish first before dawn this morning. With the course comprising the latter portion of the Spine Race, he finished the 160 miles in 43 hours 48 minutes 17 seconds. Roland Kelly and Howard Dracup were second and third respectively. Victoria Morris was first woman, clocking 52:51:38.
Pic credit: Mick Kenyon